Fascinating article – from 1979 – on how even a crudely-constructed linear model is almost always superior to human expert judgment on classification tasks:
Robyn M. Dawes, “The Robust Beauty of Improper Linear Models in Decision Making”
Is there still any role for people in decisionmaking?
But people are important. The statistical model may integrate the information in an optimal manner, but it is always the individual (judge, clinician, subjects) who chooses variables. Moreover, it is the human judge who knows the directional relationship between the predictor variables and the criterion of interest, or who can code the variables in such a way that they have clear directional relationships.
Now consider how good machine learning and AI algorithms have become at these parts of the task! Soon it might become optimal to delegate the whole process to machines.
I finally found a “reader” app that I like better than just mass-opening 20 browser tabs at once: https://www.inoreader.com/. Save time by optimizing the common case of no new updates on each site I check daily!
Wow – a Taiwanese bank was fined $180 million because they forgot to set up compliance properly for their US branch. via Taipei Times: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2016/08/23/2003653678
A cool thing for a website to do: explain exactly what all the cookies it sets are doing:
With credit to John Carmack: the Traveling Salesman problem could be known to future computer scientists as the Pokestop Path problem.
Great summary from John Carmack on how to avoid aliasing in computer graphics, with special emphasis on VR. I think his discussion of texture edge clamping problems is more easily summaried as “just use premultiplied alpha.” (see Jim Blinn’s Dirty Pixels for details).
New NIST standards disallow the use of VoIP-based phone numbers for SMS two-factor authentication. Argh, if I can’t use my Google Voice number, how can I receive SMS codes overseas without paying exorbitant telco roaming charges? I don’t consider a mobile-OS 2FA app to be a reliable substitute.
I’m looking for any existing tools to manage a set of several MySQL or Postgres databases. Something like the Amazon RDS console, but with the ability to dump and restore data to plain SQL files instead of just filesystem snapshots.
Terraform is a wonderful declarative system for setting up cloud resources – sort of a vendor-neutral AWS CloudFormation with nicer syntax.
See https://charity.wtf/tag/terraform/ for a gold mine of Terraform information.
I’m writing this because I just experienced the “joy” of losing my Terraform state file for the first time, which means I need to go and delete 53 AWS resources by hand!